Tupac Shakur will be entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the 2017 group of inductees. He will be sharing that honor with Joan Baez, Yes, Pearl Jam, Electric Light Orchestra and Journey.
The artists who make the cut for the Hall of Fame are picked by the 900 voting members of the Rock Hall of Fame Foundation, taking into account an advisory round of voting by the general public. In that public vote, conducted online earlier this year, Tupac and Baez failed to make the top tier. Both came in behind new wave band the Cars, but Foundation members overruled that ranking.
Tupac is only the sixth hip-hop induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, following Run-D.M.C, Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and N.W.A.
“Rock and roll is not an instrument. It’s not even a style of music,” Ice Cube said at last year’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, responding to the public critics who argued against including rap performers in a rock museum. “Rock and roll is not conforming to the people who came before you but creating your own path in music and life.”
Many artists appear on the long list of nominees for several years before crossing the vote threshold to make it into the Hall. Nile Rodgers, winner of this year’s Award for Musical Excellence, has been nominated 11 times so far with his band Chic, but still has not garnered enough votes to formally make it into the Hall of Fame. This was Tupac’s first year of eligibility, which is defined by the Foundation as at least 25 years past the artist’s release of their first single or album. For Tupac, that was “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” which hit the charts in October of 1991.
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